Archie & Lilibet Are Technically Eligible For Royal Titles

Netflix's Harry & Meghan may explore their place within the royal family.

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
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The death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8 brought on many changes in the Royal Family lineage. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 3-year-old son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is now entitled to be a prince, a title that the Duchess of Sussex claimed was denied to him in the couple’s 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey. In the same vein, their 1-year-old daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Mountbatten-Windsor, can now assume the title of princess.

With the release of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix series Harry & Meghan on Dec. 8, we’ll likely learn more about Archie and Lilibet’s place within the royal family. Although, we already know that under protocols established by King George V back in 1917, the grandchildren of a sovereign have an automatic right to the titles of HRH (His or Her Royal Highness) and prince or princess.

Archie and Lilibet were great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II, meaning they did not automatically inherit those titles. But now that Her Majesty’s son, King Charles III, has assumed the throne, they are now grandchildren of a sovereign, meaning Harry and Meghan’s kids now have claim to the titles if they choose to use them.

While the children of Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are also great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II, they gained prince and princess titles after their births, despite only their firstborn Prince George being eligible as the first great-grandchild in direct line of succession for the throne. Before George was born, Her Majesty issued letters of patent declaring that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s future children would receive those titles. However, the same treatment was supposedly not given to Harry and Meghan’s kids, which is one of the reasons why they left their positions as senior working members of the Royal Family.

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In March 2021, Meghan claimed that she and Harry were told before Archie’s birth that their son would not become a prince or get a title, which was only an issue because he wouldn’t receive security from the Palace without one. “If it meant he was going to be safe, of course [the title mattered],” she said. “If you're saying the title is what's going to affect that protection, we haven't created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder. You’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe.”

When asked by Winfrey if she thought the Palace’s decision had something to do with race, Meghan revealed that members of the Royal Family allegedly had concerns about their son’s skin color. “In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we [had] the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title,” she explained, “and, also, concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

Although Archie and Lilibet are now eligible for the titles they were apparently denied, they may not be eligible for long. Prior to the Queen’s death, the newly crowned King Charles III was reportedly considering changing royal protocols and limiting the Monarchy to only direct heirs of the throne. If this happens, Archie and Lilibet would no longer receive those distinctions. It remains to be seen whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will seize the chance to give their children those titles.

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